By Christiana Ekpa
House of Representatives have commenced the investigation of the accumulation of debts by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) worth N5.4 trillion.
The resolution was as a result of the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Cornelius Nnaedozie Nnaji.
The lawmakers, who accused AMCON management of flouting the provisions of the AMCON establishment Act, alleged that the debt profile was in excess of its N800 billion debt ceiling.
Leading the debate, Hon. Nnaji observed that AMCON was established 2015 to, among other functions, acquire eligible bank assets from eligible financial institutions and to hold, manage, realize and dispose of eligible bank assets (including the collection of interest, principal and capital due and taking over of collateral securing such assets).
He lamented that AMCON is “currently challenged by difficulties in recovery of debts owed by debtors to the tune of N5.4 trillion.
“The House is aware that AMCON claims that 20 individuals/entities are responsible for about 67 percent of the N5.4 trillion debt portfolio of the corporation, an amount which is over 50 percent of the 2018 budget of Nigeria.
“Some of the debtors who owe large portions of the debts are alleged to be unwilling to pay.”
Ruling on the Motion, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Ahmed Wase, who presided over the plenary, mandated the joint Committee on Banking and Currency and Insurance to investigate the debt portfolio of N5.4 trillion to AMCON and the alleged unwillingness of some of the debtors to pay.
The joint Committee is also expected to evaluate the status of the debts and the practical, legal and other strategies for the recovery of the debts, including recommending a time frame, and other options such as amendment of the AMCON Act, and report back within three weeks for further legislative action.